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Curtiss B-8, V-8 Engine


Display Status:

This object is on display in the Early Flight exhibition at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.

Collection Item Summary:

Among the most successful early engines marketed in the United States were those designed and built by aviation pioneer and inventor Glenn Curtiss in his factory in Hammondsport, New York. Early Curtiss engines were designed to power motorcycles. The Curtiss Model B-8 was the first Curtiss engine to power a heavier-than-air machine in sustained flight. In 1908, the 29.8 kw (40 hp) B-8 powered the Curtiss June Bug aircraft. In 1911, this engine was used by the donor's father, Dr. George A. Spratt, to power an experimental variable angle of incidence wing seaplane of his own design.

Although this engine is air cooled, all Curtiss engines manufactured after 1908 were water cooled.

Collection Item Long Description:

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum


Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum


Glenn H. Curtiss

Credit Line

Gift of George Spratt.




  • 3-D: 74.9 × 48.3 × 43.2cm (29 1/2 × 19 × 17 in.)
  • Support: 46.4 × 68.6 × 42.5cm (18 1/4 in. × 27 in. × 16 3/4 in.)

Country of Origin

United States of America



Physical Description

  • Type: Reciprocating, V-type, 8 cylinders, air-cooled
  • Power rating: 29.8 kW (40 hp) at 1,800 rpm
  • Displacement: 4.393 L (268 cu in.)
  • Bore and Stroke: 92.08 mm (3.625 in.) x 82.55 mm (3.25 in.)
  • Weight: 68.1 kg (150 lb)


PROPULSION-Reciprocating & Rotary

Inventory Number